STAFF at the area’s busiest animal shelter were shocked to find five cats squashed into a box and abandoned.
One of the animal-lovers who works at the Stubbington Ark spotted a cat carrier dumped in the lane near the shelter’s car park.
And when she looked inside, she found five cats cramped together and mewing.
It comes as the Ark, in Ranvilles Lane, is already dealing with the highest number of cats it has ever had.
The cats were discovered by one of the Ark’s receptionists, Marion Kelly.
She said: ‘I was shocked and overcome with emotion to think what these poor creatures must be feeling cramped inside the carrier.
‘I just wish the owner had put a note in the carrier to say how old the cats were and why they chose to abandon them as it would make it easier for the staff here at the Ark to help them.’
The five cats, two adults and three juniors, were a little stressed but otherwise in good condition.
None of the cats were microchipped so it is not possible for the RSPCA to trace the owner.
They were dumped at some time last Wednesday.
The five cats are being housed in the Ark’s veterinary centre as there is no room left in the cattery.
As reported in The News, the Ark’s resources are already being stretched to the limit because of the number of cats staff there are looking after.
In June this year, the region’s largest animal centre had 140 cats on its books – the highest number ever.
The intake has been so high that for the first time in seven years, the centre’s supplies of cat food are running at an all-time low.
Vanessa Eden, the fundraising manager at the Stubbington Ark, said they were running dangerously low of all varieties of Whiskas and Felix tinned food.
‘If anyone can donate some cat food until our stocks can be replenished we would be grateful,’ she said.
‘Although they were a little stressed, the cats all seemed in good condition.’
The Stubbington Ark is open every day between 10am and 3pm.
For information about rehoming or to make a donation visit stubbingtonark.org.uk or call (01329) 667 541.